Tuesday, January 12, 2010

In 'he said/she said' disputes where she claims he raped her, he is arrested based on no other evidence

In the following story, we don't know what happened. Just as we don't know what happened in any case we report on prior to an adjudication. We don't know who is telling the truth. We have a serious allegation that certainly merits a protective order against the man. But a man has been deprived of his liberty, with bail set at a substantial level, based on the say-so of a lone accuser. He says it didn't happen. And that's how it works. What if she's lying? Doesn't happen, you say? It does, and not infrequently. It certainly might turn out that the man is guilty as alleged -- I wouldn't be at all surprised. But too many innocent men are also snagged in the net that sends men to jail based on nothing more than the allegation of a woman. Domestic violence is a problem, but so is trampling on the civil liberties of presumed innocent men.

From the Jan. 12 "Police Blotter" of the Daily Sound (Santa Barbara)

Jan. 5, 10:45 p.m. — A domestic dispute brought officers to a home in the 2900 block of Verde Vista Drive. The victim told police that her husband began arguing with her earlier that day because he wanted sex and she declined.

The 41-year-old suspect reportedly hit the victim six times to the back of the head and pushed her onto a couch. When she continued to decline his advances, he responded, “Shut the f— up; you’re my wife, you’ll do what I say.”

The victim said she became fearful for her safety and stopped resisting. Authorities issued an emergency protective order against the suspect and took him into custody. The 41-year-old admitted to arguing with his wife, but denied hitting her or forcing her to have sex.

Authorities booked the suspect on suspicion of spousal battery and spousal rape. Bail was set at $100,000.